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Opinion

Celebrating World Book Day, Copyright And English Language Day -By Isaac Asabor

Without any iota of exaggeration, April 23 is a unique day globally as it marks the celebration of both World Book and Copyright Day and World English Day. It is a day that emphasizes the importance of literature, intellectual property rights, and the English language, bringing together readers, writers, and language enthusiasts from around the world to celebrate the joy of books and the universality of English. It is a wonderful coincidence that these two significant observances share the same date, each enriching the cultural fabric in its own way. Sad enough, not few people are ignorant of the fact that both special days are celebrated on April 23, every year.

In fact, April 2023, every year, is undeniably unique for intellectuals, Journalists and writers as it is the day they celebrate World Book and Copyright Day and World English Day. For the sake of clarity both Special Days are different observances, but they both fall on the same date, April 23.

Explanatorily put, World Book and Copyright Day is a UNESCO initiative that celebrates books and reading, and promotes the protection of intellectual property through copyright law. It also marks the anniversary of the deaths of several prominent authors, including William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes.

On the other hand, World English Day, is dedicated to the English language and celebrates its history, culture, and achievements. It coincides with the date traditionally observed as both the birthday and death anniversary of William Shakespeare, which is why April 23 was chosen.

For the sake of clarity, both days aim to promote literacy, cultural diversity, and multilingualism, but each has a distinct focus, one on literature and copyright, and the other on the English language itself.

In fact, taking cognizance of the key points that highlight its importance, it will be realized that Shakespeare’s work had a profound impact on modern English, contributing hundreds of new words and phrases that are still in use today. Hence, celebrating this day is a way to honor his legacy and the rich cultural heritage of the English language.

In a similar vein, English language has become a global lingua franca, enabling people from different nations and cultures to communicate with each other. English Language Day serves as a reminder of the language’s role in fostering cross-cultural exchanges and international cooperation.

Not only that, the day also promotes awareness of the history, culture, and achievements associated with English. It is an opportunity to appreciate the diversity within the language itself, including the various dialects and accents that have developed around the world.

In fact, English language is often seen as a gateway to knowledge and opportunity. Without a doubt, mastery of the language can provide access to a vast array of educational resources, literature, and information that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Similar to the foregoing is that in the realms of global trade and diplomacy, English language is an essential tool as it allows for the negotiation of international treaties, business contracts, and more, making it a key language for global affairs.

In essence, English Language Day is a celebration of the language’s ability to connect people, its contribution to world literature, and its ongoing evolution as a tool for global dialogue and cultural exchange. It is a day to reflect on and appreciate the significance of English in our lives and the world at large.

Similarly, the essence of celebrating World Book and Copyright Day is a significant cultural event with several key purposes:

Top on the list of the significance of English language is that it encourages people to discover the pleasure of reading and values the unique role books play in our lives. Without a doubt, the day serves as a reminder of the joy and knowledge that reading can bring.

In a similar vein, this day is also a symbolic date for literature as it marks the death of several prominent authors, including William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. It is a time to honor their contributions and the global literary heritage.

As if the foregoing is not enough, it acknowledges the invaluable contributions of all those involved in the creation and dissemination of books, including authors, publishers, booksellers, and librarians. The day highlights the importance of protecting the rights and livelihoods of those in the literary and publishing communities.

It is also important to note that UNESCO champions the day to stand up for creativity, diversity, and equal access to knowledge. It emphasizes the importance of books as tools for learning, advancing literacy, and sharing information across borders, and the celebration supports the publication of books in indigenous and regional languages, promoting linguistic diversity and the representation of various cultures through literature.

Furthermore, it is germane to recall in this context that books are celebrated as a means of exploring realms beyond our personal experience, offering a window into other cultures and ideas, even as they provide a path to roam, unbound by time or borders, giving readers a sense of freedom.

In essence, World Book and Copyright Day is a day to embrace the transformative power of books, which shape our minds, preserve cultural heritage, and ignite creativity. It is a day to acknowledge the importance of protecting authors’ works through effective copyright mechanisms and to celebrate the enduring impact of literature on individual growth and societal development.

At this juncture, it expedient to highlight some ways to partake in the celebrations of the World Book and Copyright Day as they can be a delightful experience.

In fact, in celebrating both special days, may be in consequent years on April 23, it expedient to note that some local bookstores and libraries that are cognizant of the celebration of the day host special events, including author readings, book signings, and literary activities for children.

In the absence of the hosting of events that surround the day, it is advisable to join Book Club as membership of a book club offers great opportunity to discuss about favorite books with others and discover new reads.

In a similar vein, while celebrating English language day or book and copyright day, a lot of books are swapped as books are exchanged with friends, family, or colleagues as a way of sharing the joy of reading.

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